My eyes snapped open, immediately focusing on the mess that cluttered up my room. I could feel the dream slipping away from me, back into the dark deep recesses of my mind. I reached out to try and stop it from disappearing but it just slipped through my fingers. I'd never know what it was about.
My eyes moved from my cluttered floor to the clock that was glowing beside my bed. 6.45. My mother would be coming to wake me soon.
I rolled over and stared at the ceiling, trying to enjoy my last few moments in bed before I would have to drag myself out of its warm embrace and force myself to spend a day at school.
I closed my eyes again and an image flashed across my imagination. It felt familiar, like I'd seen the image before, but it disappeared as soon as I had seen it, leaving me with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach.
'Right then Alex,' my mother said, throwing my bedroom door open and pulling the curtains open. 'Up you get. Now please.' She yanked the covers off my bed, the cold air of the room hitting my bare legs with such force it made me shudder.
'Alright, I'm awake,' I protested, pulling the covers back over me.
'Good, then you can get up.'
I groaned as my mother left the room, knowing if I wasn't in the shower in the next few minutes she would be back to nag me some more. I rolled out of bed collecting the different pieces of my uniform from all over my room. Skirt, shirt, jumper, tie. I walked drowsily down the upstairs hall and into the bathroom. The cold water hitting my skin brought me out of my dream-like state and threw me into the real world.
Shivering, I made my way downstairs and into the kitchen where a small pile of toast was waiting in the middle of the table.
‘You’re going to have to eat that quickly,’ Mum said as she bustled around me. ‘You’re already late.’
‘How can I be late?’
‘I don’t know Alex, just hurry up.’
I could tell this wasn’t going to be a good morning. When Mum was stressed we all had to tiptoe around her for fear of her spontaneously exploding. So I obliged, shoving as much toast as I could down my throat and ran out of the house as fast as I could.
I calmed down when I was on the street, swinging my bag onto my shoulder and slowing my pace down to a casual stroll. I pulled my battered iPod out of my pocket and put my headphones in, blocking out the sounds of the world around me.
This was my normal weekday morning. A ten minute walk from my house in the suburban area of town into my school in the centre. I had walked these streets so many times I didn’t even have to concentrate; my feet knew exactly where they were going. This meant my mind could wander wherever it chose.
This morning I found my mind trying to work out what I had dreamt that night. All I could remember was it had been very strange and surreal, but I had no details about what happened. I didn’t know why this was bothering me, but it stuck in my head until I reached the school gates and walked up the steps into the entrance hall.
There were all the usual suspects hanging around, avoiding going to registration by sitting on the main staircase, blocking everyone else’s way. These were the sort of people I stayed away from, tough guys and their girlfriends, the school bullies. It’s not that I was an easy target, I just didn’t want them to have any excuse to have a go at me.
My form room was on the first floor of the building and was already swarming with people’s conversations as I entered, taking my usual seat in the middle of the room.
‘Good morning,’ Morgan said, swiveling around on her chair to face me. ‘Wonderful morning isn’t it.’
‘What’s put you in such a good mood?’ I asked, one eyebrow raised suspiciously. Morgan was my best friend, I’d known her for as long as I could remember, so I knew when she was up to something. This cheerful mood usually meant she was planning something.
‘Nothing in particular,’ she said, a secretive smile on her face. ‘Just life.’
‘You know I don’t believe you.’
‘Of course. But I’m still not going to tell you the truth, you’re just going to have to wait and see.’ She laughed as I shook my head at her, her infective cheerfulness causing my lips to form a smile. ‘But I’ve spotted something that should brighten your morning,’ she winked.
I turned to see Sean walk in, completely cool, despite the fact he had only just made it before the bell. I smiled as he spotted me and walked towards me, kissing the top of my head before sitting in the chair next to me.
‘Morning,’ I said, leaning against him as his arm went around my shoulders.
‘This is not the time or the place for that thank you,’ Miss Loake said as she swept into the room. Sean didn’t retract his arm, but stayed exactly as he was. ‘Now Mr Parcs,’ Miss Loake repeated, staring directly at Sean. I had to bend my head slightly to hide the smile that crept across my face as Sean continued to refuse to bow to the teacher’s authority.
‘You didn’t say the magic word,’ he said smugly.
‘I beg your pardon?’ Miss Loake exclaimed.
‘You didn’t say please.’
‘Please could you give Miss Wyman back her personal space.’
‘Of course Miss Loake,’ he said, removing his arm and putting it across his stomach.
‘You’re going to get into trouble one of these days,’ I whispered as Miss Loake proceeded to register us.
‘It’ll be worth it though,’ he grinned, winking at me.
I grinned like an idiot, sitting back in my chair to enjoy another average day at school.